This will be the first year without enough six-win or better teams to fill the 80 spots in bowl games at the end of the season. That was bound to happen eventually. The number of bowl games keeps increasing (we're now at 41), and there are only 128 FBS teams.
Right now, there are 75 bowl-eligible teams, with Georgia State, Kansas State and South Alabama having one game each to reach six wins. This means at least two 5-7 teams are guaranteed to go bowling, and likely more.
The NCAA announced a contingency plan in 2012 that would allow 5-7 teams among the top five in Academic Progress Rate (APR) to be chosen. The problem is, those schools -- Wisconsin, Northwestern, Duke, Michigan and Stanford -- are all bowl eligible. So, what happens next?
After some deliberation, the NCAA finally announced:
Without enough 6-6 teams, remaining bowl bids will be filled by 5-7 teams based on highest Academic Progress Rate. pic.twitter.com/D5iuQKkuqr— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) November 30, 2015
The top five-win FBS teams in those rankings that weren't already bowl-eligible:
2. (tie) Missouri, which has since announced it's not interested, and Kansas State
4. (tie) Minnesota and San Jose State
6. (tie) Illinois and Rice
K-State is now bowl-eligible no matter what.
There will be conference-friendly spots available for most, but if we get to San Jose State, SJSU's going somewhere weird.
Right now, we have projected Nebraska projected to the Quick Lane against Duke, Missouri to the Independence against Western Michigan (gotta fix this one!), Kansas State to the Liberty against Arkansas (with six wins), Minnesota to the Foster Farms against USC, and SJSU to St. Petersburg against UConn.
* * *
SB Nation presents: All 40 college football bowl games, in one song